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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forget all the extra goodies an HTPC has, I'm talking purely DVD PQ.


Will an HTPC, which will cost about $900 when all is said and done, produce a noticably better picture than a line doubler(I think with a $900 budget, I won't do much better than just a doubler)? I would want one that can crop a 4:3 image into a 16:9 display.


I would use an XP-30 DVD player with the scaler. With an HTPC it would be a Radeon of course and Theater Tek software. If I were to use an HTPC, I would want a resolution of 1440x960. Thats like a quadroupler right? If thats the case the scaler would only do 1280x720, right?


So, what would you do in my shoes?
 

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I have a XP30 and am using the transconvertor to run it though the RGB inputs. I just bought a Vision and when it comes in I will be switching inputs to see how this unit compares to the progressive from the DVD to the Vision box from Lumagen. This is on the Sony 1270Q.
 

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Jorell,


I would think that you could probably get a pretty nice PC for less money than that.

I think that you could build a computer approching the $500 that would be a very capable HTPC.


Just my opinion of course.


Arno
 

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Hi guys,

this is the wrong forum.

The HTPC and video processor forum is what you need.


It help keeps the board very organized


Thanks,

clopez
 

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IMO, this thread was absolutely 100% appropriate in both the Scaler forum and the HTPC forum. if you say "A or B" and only ask in the B space, well, guess what kind of answers you're likely to get :)


for the money you're talking, there's no way anything's going to beat an HTPC.


doody.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by doody
IMO, this thread was absolutely 100% appropriate in both the Scaler forum and the HTPC forum. if you say "A or B" and only ask in the B space, well, guess what kind of answers you're likely to get :)


doody.
Well howdy,


Doody, you are certainly right. But, to my dismay, I only had the ability to move it to one forum from the projector forum. (I can't copy it to two forums) He can start another thread in the HTPC forum.
 

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An area where the external scaler will win over the dvd player/scaler combination is in stability and ease of use. The advantage of the HTPC is that the signal path is all digital until the output. So an HTPC will almost always have lower noise. However, deinterlacing on a modern scaler will likely be better than an HTPC. Current HTPC dvd playing software have rather poor deinterlacing on improperly flagged and video-sourced material.


Recently, people seem to be using the FFDSHOW filter to help with the deinterlacing and to tweak the picture quality. I'm not too familiar with this solution yet but it could push HTPCs ahead of the player/scaler combo in the future, if it hasn't already. However, this requires playing around a bit with your HTPC configuration, which some people are not as comfortable doing as others.


Regarding value, if you're PC savvy and can build your own PC, no doubt the HTPC solution is a better value. But if you consider that a decent interlaced dvd player is about $100-$200 and the Lumagen Vision is $1k, then the player/scaler solution is in the same price range or cheaper than many off-the-shelf HTPCs.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pham
An area where the external scaler will win over the dvd player/scaler combination is in stability and ease of use. The advantage of the HTPC is that the signal path is all digital until the output. So an HTPC will almost always have lower noise.
Certain scalers can accept digital SDI inputs from DVD players that provide them (or have been modified to provide them). This preserves the all-digital pathway. I don't think any such scaler is in the $900 range though. The original Leeza does it I believe, and I'm sure with the upgrade program Key Digital is offering for the HD Leeza, there will be plenty of people selling Leezas in the future at good prices.
 

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Jorell, I know you're just asking about DVD but much of your decision is also future sources.

The pro of a good scaler (probably more than $800) is that it accepts more than one type of input, ie. s-video, composite, component (progressive and interlaced). You can hook up more than one device.

The pro of HTPC is upgradability. Even for just DVD viewing there are software updates that are easy to do. Hardware upgrading is also relatively easy.

I have a HTPC hooked up to my infocus 7200 and a CS1 hooked up to my XGA projector. They both put out gorgeous pictures scaled to the PJ's native resolution, they both can be tweaked (brightness, contrast, hue and sat.). The downside to the PC is for DVD playing (and your budget) you only have the DVD software to really playback movies (not withstanding the holograph $$$$). The CS1 I have hooked up my rca dtc100, interlaced component DVD, gamecube.

I know I didn't answer the question, but be carefull on not thinking about the future and what you might want to do. If you don't you may end up spending more money than you really wanted after all is said and done.
 

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To get the best picture quality, you want to maintain the picture data in the digital domain for as long as possible. The image on a DVD is digital, and your scaler will work with digital data. If you send an analog signal (component, s-video, composite) out of the DVD player, you have already lost the battle for best PQ. The scaler will have to re-digitize the analog signal, and you have lost some information in the transaction.


So, to use a standalone scaler, you need a DVD player with SDI or DVI output. (The same goes for any digital source: satellite, OTA SD/HD). And, of course, your scalar must accept the digital connection.


Nowadays, scalers and HTPCs are two versions of the same thing. Internally, the scaler probably is an HTPC of some sort.


The scaler vendor is selling you ease of use and peace of mind. You take the scaler home, plug it in, and it works. It works very well.


You can probably build an HTPC that works as well as the scaler. You can probably do it for less money. But, you have to choose the computer, video card, input cards, DVD drive, software, etc. You have to deal with the problems that computers tend to suffer from. And, it might be overkill for your needs.


If you like to screw around with computers, you will have more fun with the HTPC. You will be able to expand it into a PVR, HD tuner, DivX player, etc. You can surf the web on it. You will probably also suffer from TV downtime because you messed up your HTPC with a new software or hardware install.


You can probably tweak the HTPC to get a better picture than the scaler, but you might spend a lot of time doing it.


In the end:


scaler = good performance + peace of mind


HTPC = more versatile + fun/headaches
 

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Is there anyone that upgrades dvd players with DVI outs?


I purchased a Sony DVP-S9000 ES DVD/SACD that I would love to have a DVI added to it. Is This possible? If so who does it?
 
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